Destination Daytona gears up for Bike Week

As Bike Week kicks off in Daytona tomorrow, foot and motorcycle traffic near Bruce Rossmeyer’s Destination Daytona in Ormond Beach — and the group’s museum store off Beach Street — will increase dramatically. Both vendor areas are sold out, and the exhibitors are excited for the crowds to arrive, Destination Daytona general manager Shelly Rossmeyer Pepe told Powersports Business managing editor Liz Hochstedler.

“We expect the show to be successful, not only for our dealership but also for the vendors who are participating,” she said.

Already, there has been more anticipation for this year’s Bike Week than in the few years past, as vendors are returning and filling up the available space, Rossmeyer Pepe reported.

“For the last couple of years there were a lot of big manufacturers, or I should say companies, that kind of held out of participating in the shows and the events, and this year I’m getting nothing but positive feedback,” she said.

At Destination Daytona, the dealership has a constant slew of activities planned, including live music daily. On Friday, March 15, the dealership is hosting a “Baddest Bagger Daytona” bike show, and the following day Shooter Jennings will play a free concert. Harley-Davidson is also exhibiting at the Bruce Rossmeyer group’s Riverfront Park space off Beach Street. The Motor Company has a variety of events on schedule to show off its latest models.

“I would say our biggest focus is just offering the best vendors in the industry to the consumers out there to see what’s new, what’s hot, what they can put on their motorcycles,” Rossmeyer Pepe said.

Though selling booth space to exhibitors is important to Destination Daytona, so are the dealership operations. People stop at the store not only to check out the outdoor vendors, but also to see what vehicles, accessories and gear the dealership has to offer.

“People have no intentions of buying a motorcycle. They come down, they see great inventory, they see the right color, the right bike, and they’re going home on it, and we love that,” Rossmeyer Pepe reported. “And people who need servicing on their motorcycles — I mean no one plans to have their servicing, it just happens — we’re there to take care of them, and we’ve got the best selection of MotorClothes and accessories, I think, in most of the dealer network, so if anyone’s looking for branded merchandise, we’ve got it; we stock it.”

To make the whole thing work, the dealership expands its staff from 80-85 to about 150, relying on temporary workers to help staff the event.

“People come year after year that work for us, and then some new faces, and some people locally take off from their full-time job just to work the 10-day event,” Rossmeyer Pepe said. “They just like the crowds, and they want to be around something different than their normal day-to-day work.”

Because of the number of vendors and the amount of entertainment provided, nearly every Bike Week visitor has Destination Daytona on their must-see list. The atmosphere created offers an enthusiastic kickoff to thousands of riders.

“We’re pretty fortunate we have a year-round riding season in Florida, but most of the people that visit the rally are coming from obviously different places where they’re not able to ride their motorcycles, and I think that this for us as a dealer, yes, it’s a great business opportunity,” Rossmeyer Pepe explained. “It’s exposure; it’s exposure to the manufacturers and the builders and everyone that makes this all work.”

Daytona Bike Week runs March 8-17. Major events include an AMA Supercross race on Saturday, March 9; the unveiling of the new Indian Motorcycle engine on Saturday, March 9; the reveal of a new Star Motorcycle on Saturday, March 9; the Daytona 200 on Saturday, March 16; the Harley-Davidson Appreciation Parade on Saturday, March 16.

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